Some nights I stay up really late, especially when I feel anxious, scared, or depressed. I know sleep is important but still I resist. It’s like the more uneasy I feel, the harder it is to relinquish the day.
Late the other night I was checking through my email for the tenth time, and I started to wonder why I wasn’t going to bed. Why was I awake worrying about nothing at all? And then after a few moments, a feeling of calm came over me. I realized I didn’t want to go to sleep, because I was afraid to die.
Sleep is the closest most of us come to death in our daily lives. Each night you drift off to sleep and leave your body and waking self behind. Then, like magic, you enter a world where the rules no longer apply.
What waits for you there is largely unknown. It may be a realm of erotic fantasy, or a realm of frightening shadows. And even though we know that sleep is coming, we hold off, trying to squeeze a few more minutes out of a tired day.
Eventually, you have to let go and drift off. And then you don’t want to come back. You don’t want to be reminded of the things left undone. So you cling to your bed, just like you clung to your late night email.
This is how we live, clinging to a day that has passed or to a hollow nest of sleep. But no matter what you do, life will escape you. That leaves you with a choice: to hold on or to let go.
Luckily you don’t have to wait til the end of your life. You get to choose each night.
You can choose to hold onto the day and worry whether it’s enough. Or you can decide that nothing more is needed and that tomorrow will take care of itself.
Each night a tiny death. Each day a tiny life.